Baby suffocated in sling prompts mother to caution parents who use the method

Five-week-old Eric Matthews died after his parents took him for a walk

A mother has warned parents against the dangers of using slings to carry babies, after her five-week-old baby accidentally suffocated during a short walk on Christmas Eve.

Eric Matthews’ mother Marianne was attempting to calm the crying infant during the ten-minute-long stroll, when he stopped breathing, the The Times reported.

Coroner Dr Richard Brittain told an inquest that the incident and similar cases "raise some concerns as to the safety of the slings." He called the death “extremely tragic” and ruled that Eric had died because his airways had become blocked, and that his parents were not at fault.

Dr Malone, the paediatric pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Eric, citied during the inquest that six other children in the UK had died slings, with 16 children dying in the US and Canada.

35-year-old textile artist Mrs Matthews, who was present at the inquest with her 48-year-old partner Robert, said she had positioned Eric according to a parenting manual that advised that he would be safest against her chest.

Returning home, they noticed that the baby had blood coming out of his nose and had stopped breathing.

Mr Matthews, from Harrow in North London, told St Pancras Coroner’s Court: “We went for a short walk with him. He was in the sling.

“He was crying in the beginning, then he stopped crying. On the way back he was falling asleep. When we got home we found he wasn’t breathing.”

The couple then performed emergency CPR on the infant, but eight days later, Eric died in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

During the inquest Mrs Matthews warned parents against the dangers of the carrying method.

“I don’t want to scaremonger but I think it [the dangers] isn’t known about,” the newspaper reported.

“All the baby books say that slings are good for babies. We knew the cot death stuff about babies on their backs that is really well known. But we didn’t know about this at all.”

Following the incident, Mrs Matthews has set up a charity webpage in aid of the hospital that cared for her baby.

She wrote on the the Justgiving page: "Eric’s short life has made us want to give something back to those who helped us in those difficult last days.  The amazing people at Great Ormond Street showed great care and dedication."

The page called Remembering Eric Laser Matthews had received £2,677 worth of donations by Friday afternoon.

Victoria War from Babywearing UK told the The Times: "Parents using slings should follow the TICKS advice: Keep your baby Tight, In view, Close enough to kiss, Keep their chin off their chest, and Supported back.

"The ideal position is usually an upright one, and you should check the baby frequently, particularly if they show signs of distress, suddenly stop crying, or make any unusual sounds."

News
people
Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Extras
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities